London and Surrey based LEO Academy Trust has been chosen as a finalist in the MAT Excellence Awards’ Digital Innovation category, in recognition of its pioneering approach to technology-backed teaching and learning.
The Trust, which serves over 4,500 children across nine primary schools in the London Borough of Sutton and Surrey, is committed to providing high-quality learning, excellence and opportunity for all children. With this vision in mind, the Trust set about to deliver a digital strategy that supports pupils to develop future-facing skills and achieve their full potential.
The MAT Excellence Award Digital Innovation Award celebrates the value of technology in empowering teachers and transforming pupil outcomes.
One of the key facets of the Trust’s strategy is its commitment to closing the digital divide and making technology accessible for all. This includes its 1:1 Google Chromebook Programme – funded completely by the Trust – which provides every single pupil with a personal Chromebook to support both at-home and in-class learning. Thanks to LEO’s approach, 100 per cent of pupils across the Trust now have reliable internet access.
Another important element of LEO’s approach is its use of assistive technology, to ensure learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can fully participate in lessons. This connects to the heart of LEO Academy Trust’s values that high quality learning and opportunities are provided for every single pupil.
The Trust has also been supporting other schools up and down the country with their digital transformation journey. As a Google Reference School, LEO provides best practice, training and resources to teachers beyond their community, and also works closely with London Grid for Learning to share its best practice and help schools embed technology into different curriculum areas.
Most recently, LEO has been using technology to enhance accessibility in its English and Maths lessons through its partnership with London Grid for Learning. This includes developing the Reading Zone Live platform which uses videos and author interview clips to bring books to life for children, supporting their reading and writing development.
This approach to assistive technology is empowering all LEO children to be successful and independent learners, with staff now sharing their knowledge and expertise to peers across the sector.
The Trust also invests in Google coaching and professional development courses to boost teachers’ confidence and equip them with the skills to make the most of technology in their teaching practice.
LEO Academy Trust’s transformative approach to digital learning has opened up a world of information and opportunities for developing technical skills, which will be life-changing for pupils and staff. As a result, pupils are stimulated and challenged to think outside the box and recognise technology as a tool for learning, rather than just a source of entertainment.
Phillip Hedger, CEO for LEO Academy Trust, said:
“I am thrilled that LEO Academy Trust is a finalist for a MAT Excellence Award for Digital Innovation. This is a testament to the incredible work that has been done across the Trust to transform digital learning and unlock the potential of every single pupil and colleague.
“Our pupils have been enthusiastically getting involved in digital learning since we began to implement the strategy and their confidence has grown tremendously, emphasising the value in improving technological learning.
“I want to say a huge thank you to all of the staff across our Trust who have worked exceptionally hard to implement the digital strategy and have been the driving force behind the innovation. It is because of their hard work that we can provide the highest quality education provision and improve outcomes of all our pupils.”